LOAN star Tyreeq Bakinson is adamant that Newport County AFC have to stop stumbling out of the blocks if they are to keep pace with the League Two front runners.

Slow starts have been an Achilles heel for County all season and they again found themselves 2-0 down in the opening stages at Carlisle United on Saturday.

Not for the first time this season, the Exiles showed great character and resilience to claw their way back into the match.

Goals from Padraig Amond and Dan Butler put Michael Flynn’s men on course for a point at Brunton Park before home skipper Danny Grainger hit a superb winner in the 93rd minute.

Flynn laid into his team for their "criminal" defending after the match and Bakinson knows that they need to be switched on from the very start if they are to avoid falling further down the table.

The Exiles are now sixth, seven points behind leaders Lincoln City after 17 games.

“I think the team showed real character to get back into the game but we can’t keep starting like that because it puts us on the back foot,” said Bakinson.

“You can’t keep going two goals down and expect to win. We’re making it hard for ourselves.

“It’s a topic that the manager has to keep bringing up.

“I feel like if we started better and played like we did [on Saturday] we’d win more games.

“It was really hard to take,” added the 20-year-old. “I thought we were the better team. We played well and I can’t really fault anyone.

“I think we deserved more but that’s just the way it goes and you’ve just got to take it on the chin and go again. We’re still in a very good position.”

Saturday’s match was a first appearance for Bakinson since the win over Stevenage on October 13.

“I had some bruising on the knee but I’m feeling good now,” he explained.

“It flared up a little bit before the game but you’ve got to put it in for the team.

“I’m happy to be back on the pitch. I felt fresh. I’ve been resting it and I’ve come back feeling good.”

And the Bristol City youngster is looking forward to his first taste of FA Cup action this weekend when County travel to Surrey to take on Metropolitan Police FC of the Southern League Premier Division South.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said the midfielder. “As a player you always want a cup run every season and hopefully we can get a win for the fans.

“It’s a great competition, especially when all the bigger clubs get involved. You really want to get a big game.”

But Bakinson insists that the Exiles will not take their non-league opponents lightly.

“Anything can happen in these games so you’ve got to not be complacent and play as you always play,” he added. “We definitely won’t underestimate them.

“We need to go into the game with the same attitude that we always do.

“We work as a team and carry on doing what we’re doing but just improve on the starts we’ve had.”